Around 50 Chinese travel professionals took part in an educational training seminar recently in the city of Shenzhen, in south-eastern China, learning about Ireland and the opportunities for Chinese tourists.
The seminar, organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Hainan Airlines, was timed to coincide with the launch of the new Hainan Airlines flight from Shenzhen to Dublin. Attendees learned how to better sell holidays to Europe, in particular Ireland and Britain. A key message was the new flight and easier than ever access for travellers from this part of China to Ireland.
The travel agents also learned about Dublin and Belfast, the Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route, as well as filming locations used in Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Tourism Ireland also highlighted the convenience of the British Irish Visa Scheme.
Travel agents continue to play an important role in China, with Chinese travellers preferring to use a travel agent for a number of reasons, including convenience, language barriers, visa preparation and knowledge gaps.
This is the second Hainan Airlines service from Mainland China to Ireland, and will help to boost visitor numbers from China to Ireland. Tourism Ireland is working with Hainan this spring, to highlight the island of Ireland and drive demand for the new service.
James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager, China, said: “We were delighted to partner with Hainan Airlines, to inform and enthuse travel agents in the city of Shenzhen about the island of Ireland. China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2018, we welcomed an estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors to the island of Ireland.”